Food of love on discount as oysters sell for 25p at supermarket

Morrison's is selling oysters for 25p this week to encourage shoppers to try the shellfish, rather than opting for a fish finger for the same equivalent price.
Morrison's is selling oysters for 25p this week to encourage shoppers to try the shellfish, rather than opting for a fish finger for the same equivalent price.

A supermarket chain is selling oysters - a known romantic stimulant - at the same price of a cod fish finger in the run up to Valentine’s day.

Morrisons is to sell the shellfish, which retail for around £5 in Harrods, for just 25p each, up until Monday February 15.

The supermarket is launching the scheme to tie in with Valentine’s Day next week and because it claims research has identified nearly two thirds of Brits have never eaten an oyster, even though 2,300 tonnes will be harvested in Britain this year.

Oysters are known as an aphrodisiac and contain amino acids that trigger the production of sex hormones.

Morrisons says its is expected the product - sold in packs of six - will be “bought by couples wishing to prepare a romantic dinner for a night in.”

The chain store’s research revealed that 25 per cent of people they asked said they’d never tried an oyster due to the perceived ‘expensive’ price. Also, 44 per cent of respondents said they didn’t want to waste money on something they may not like, while a fifth of people thought they’d never shopped anywhere that sold them.

Currently 50 percent of Britain’s oyster harvest is now exported to the continent every 12 months.

The perceived romantic qualities of the oyster stretch back into history, and in the 18th Century legend has it that adventurer and lothario Giacomo Casanova consumed more than 50 of them day.

Serving suggestions:

*Oysters have tender and smooth meat with a unique delicate flavour of the sea.

*They go well with Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Chardonnay wines, plus stout, IPA or lager.

*Always cook your oyster before eating it. Oysters can be grilled, poached, baked, deep fried tempura-style or even added to pies or pasta. Classic oyster recipes include:

*Angels on horseback: shuck the oyster, wrap in streaky bacon, secure with a cocktail stick and bake in the oven.

*Oysters Rockefeller: shuck the oyster, spoon diced onion, spinach and parsley (cooked in butter) on top of the open oyster, top with breadcrumbs, then bake.

How to prepare an oyster:

*Begin at your sink. Clean your oysters thoroughly under cold running water.

*Get a teatowel. Wrap it completely around one hand and use this hand to firmly hold the oyster.

*Get a shucking knife. Put it in the other hand. Put the knife’s tip at the base of the oyster shell hinge and use pressure to twist the knife. Then move the knife upwards to prise the shell open.

Oyster facts:

With oysters in the news and in the thoughts of a nation’s romantics, here’s 12 things you may not have known about this interesting creature...

*Oysters are British born and bred. They are found in fisheries all around Britain, including west Scotland and Ireland, Essex, Kent, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.

*50 per cent of Britain’s oysters are now exported abroad to the continent.

*Each coastal region produces a slightly different taste and texture of oyster - but always chew an oyster to release its full flavour.

*Oysters are healthy, being low in cholesterol and rich in essential nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats and zinc.

*Oysters filter the seawater, passing about 30-50 gallons of water flow though their shells per day.

*Not all oysters make pearls, only seven Pinctada species can create them.

*The Romans imported oysters by boat direct from England to Italy and Roman Emperors paid for them by their weight in gold.

*It is said that Henry IV liked to consume 300 oysters as an appetizer and that Casanova reportedly consumed 50-60 oysters a day with his evening punch.

*In the 1800s oysters used to be a peasant dish.

*It is thought that the most expensive oysters in the world, which cost AUD$100 each, are from Coffin Bay, Australia.

*The Guinness World Record for the most oysters eaten in 3 minutes is 233.

*You can chuck oyster shells on your garden - their calcium element will fertilise plants and help your garden to grow!